We had the good fortune of connecting with Gwendolyn Huerta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gwendolyn, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I chose to pursue an artistic path because it was the only path that made sense to me as a teenager. All my life, I think I’ve always been subconsciously attracted to creativity and all things visual. I’d definitely consider myself as a visual learner, because that was really the only way I could comprehend information as a child. I guess it makes sense as to why I chose this path. I always found myself making and creating, as that was the only thing that I could fall deeply into. The other interests I’ve had were only temporary, and I found myself unwillingly fixating on those interests, on and off. While those passions have come and gone, my relationship with art and creating only grew stronger. From a child to a young adult, art has always been my way of communicating to the outside world and especially with myself. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m happy to pursue what my younger self always wanted.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When it comes to Illustration and Design, I’m usually attracted to narrative and storytelling along with personal, emotion provoking work and works inspired by nature. I like to insert myself into all of these different qualities, to find that perfect balance. Lately I’ve been strongly influenced by people and nature in my work, and how the two can work together. I always try to find a way to incorporate those elements into any of the work that I make, no matter how specific of a story I’m telling. What intrigues me so much about this profession is the challenge of visual problem solving and the information I have to communicate. I like to work with many mediums––whether that be painting, drawing, collage, and even ceramics. I first started out with a love for painting and drawing and it stuck with me for years. I haven’t abandoned that medium completely, but within the past year I’ve found myself working digitally–coincidentally when the pandemic started. As the world and online learning turned virtual and digital, so did my method of working. I don’t prefer any method over another, making art in different mediums communicates the piece differently and that’s something I find rather lovely and exciting. I’m most excited about the more that I have to learn in my career, and my future. I’m proud of myself for sticking it through these past few years and listening to my intuition despite my insecurities. I’m currently finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree at ArtCenter College of Design with a focus in Illustration Design, and it’s definitely been a tough ride. I wouldn’t want it any other way despite those challenges. Throughout the years in this path, I think I’ve definitely evolved in a way I didn’t think was possible, and I’m finally happy with the work I’m currently making and who I am as an artist. I’m evolving indefinitely and my inspirations will change, but I’m eager to see what my work will continue to evolve into. If it weren’t for those challenges along the way, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, I can say that there’s so many places and hidden gems throughout this city. I’ve been here all my life, and I adore every little and big thing about this city. I love the local mom and pop shops––the places that have always been here since I was a child, and have been here ever since my parents were children. Sadly, some places have disappeared within the fast paced changes of Los Angeles, but there are some places that are still here and grounded. I would definitely say to check out Patra’s Charbroiled Burgers located in the heart of Echo Park, their burgers and their little indoor shack have always been a comfort to me. Farther down the street, hidden in a little market plaza, you can find the best pizza in Echo Park called Pizza Buona. When I have time, I also love to go thrifting at some local shops. My favorite would be Sunday’s Best Vintage, where the shop cat likes to roam around through the isles. If you spend enough time exploring the area, you can also find a neighborhood full of Victorian homes! Carroll Ave. in Angelino Heights stole my heart during the pandemic––I still get excited each time I see my favorite pink Victorian home, and the tall green one that’s adorned in plants. Not far from there, you can find the iconic Echo Park Lake where you can circle around the unmissable fountain surrounded by blooming lotus flowers. After a cruise around the lake, I always love to snack on Elote and Raspados under the palms. There’s so much more in L.A to visit, but these are the little big places in Echo Park that I’d love to share with others, as these are the places that bring me the most comfort and what I feel is my “home”.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my family. Family plays a huge role in influence, and I know that might not be the case for some, as choosing a creative path isn’t generally seen as something “stable” or “safe”. Shout out to them for recognizing so early what I’ve always loved from a young age, and for pushing that dream on me especially during times when I’ve dealt with self doubt. To this day, my family always makes sure I stay true to myself, and that I don’t settle for anything less than that. I also wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my peers and mentors along the way. Seeing the way they work, and how much extraordinary creations they can crank out of them has definitely sparked that energy and passion in me, even during times when I felt that light inside of me fading. Being surrounded by other artists and friends brings me an unimaginable amount of gratitude, and has shown me my own potential.